Turmeric

Turmeric, a dried rhizome of the herbaceous plant, has an early origin of nearly 4000 years in the Vedic culture of India, not only as a culinary condiment but holds a significant medicinal and religious importance. Also known as “ Indian Saffron” this spice is yellow in colour and closely related to the ginger family, Zingiberaceae, Turmeric also know Curcuma Longa, Kumkum, Haldi, Yu-Chin, Acafrao da India, Kunjit, is used in its fine dried, yellow powdered form for its antiquity as spice, dye and aromatic stimulant in several medicines. India, being one of the largest producers of turmeric which produce nearly 8 lakh MT, consumes 80 % of it domestically and remaining is being exported. The rhizome, from which the turmeric is derived, is tuberous, rough and having a segmented skin which further mature beneath in the ground and turn yellowish-brown. The main rhizome, turmeric finger, is pointed or tapered at the distal end and measures 2.5–7.0 cm (1–3 inches) in length and 2.5 cm (1 inch) in diameter and when dried can be ground to a yellow powder for better use.

Few popular grades of Indian Turmeric Finger are

Aleppo Finger (Kerala), Erode Finger from Tamil Nadu, Rajapuri Turmeric from Sangli (Maharashtra), Nizamabad Turmeric from Andhra Pradesh, Cuddapah Turmeric from Andhra Pradesh.

Grade specifications as per Apeda

Agmark standards and Grade designations and definitions of quality of Turmeric Finger:

Grade Designation Flexibility Broken pieces % by weight (max) Foreign % by weight( max) defective bulbs % by weight(max) %of bulbs by weight (max) Admixture varieties of turmeric (%)
Rajapore Special Hard to touch, metallic twang on break 3.0 1.0 3.0 2.0 2.0
Good Same as above 5.0 1.5 5.0 3.0
Fair Hard 7.0 2.0 7.0 5.0
Allepey fingers Good Hard to touch 5.0 1.0 3.0 4.0
Fair Hard 7.0 1.5 5.0 5.0
Fingers,other than Allepey Special Hard to touch, metallic twang on break 2.0 1.0 0.5 2.0
Good Same as above 3.0 1.5 1.0 3.0
Fair Hard 5.0 2.0 1.5 5.0

Agmark standards and Grade designation and definition of quality of Turmeric Ground and turmeric poweder (coarse) :

Grade designation Moisture % by weight (max) Total ash % by weight (max) Acid insoluble ash, % by weight (max) Lead as (Pb) parts per million (max) Starch % by weight (max) Chromate test
Standard 10.0 7.0 2.5 2.5 60.0 Negative
Standard 10.0 9.0 1.5 2.5 60.0 Negative

ESA quality specifications

S.No. Specification Turmeric
Whole Ground
1 Extraneous matter % 1 1
2 Foreign matter % 2 2
3 Ash % w/w max (ISO) 8 (BSI) 9(ISO)
4 Acid insoluble ash % w/w max 2(BSI) 2.5 (ESA)
5 Maximum water % w/w max 12(BSI) 10 (ISO)
6 Volatile oil 2.5(BSI) 1.5 (ESA)
7 Microbe

Salmonella abs in 25 g, yeast &molds

E. coli

105/g target, max 106/g absolute

102/g target, max 103/g absolute

ASTA (American Spice Trade Association) Cleanliness Specifications for Turmeric:

Whole Insects dead(by count) Excreta Mammalian(mg/lb) Excreta Other (mg/lb) Mold% (wt) Insect defiled infested (% wt) Extraneous Foreign Matter(%/Wt)
3 5.0 5.0 3.0 2.50 0.50

Country of Origin: India

Harvesting Season: January, February, March

Marketing and Distribution Season: All

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